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<   No. 2436   2009-09-27   >

Comic #2436

1 Kyros: Actually there's still one option we haven't tried yet. We could get rid of the mountains.
2 Alvissa: Oh right. And I suppose you have a way to do that?
3 Kyros: Stand back.
3 Alvissa: That was a rhetorical question!
4 {the other party members flee}
4 Kyros: Channelling mana!
4 Alvissa: And the answer was "no"!!

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Sometimes if Muhammad can't get past the mountain, the mountain will just have to get the heck out of the way.

2023-05-06 Rerun commentary: The full phrase is often written:

if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain

Both Wiktionary and Phrase Finder attribute this originally to Francis Bacon, writing in his Essays of 1625:

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers, for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.

There is no reference to the phrase having existed earlier, and specifically not to any contemporary accounts of the life of Muhammad. But given the way in which the apocryphal Muhammad gives up so easily and decides to go to the mountain, it really just goes to show that he wasn't a wizard.

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